School Signage

Safety Resolutions: 7 Reasons to Update Your School’s Safety Signs in 2022

From students to faculty, any school’s first priority should be the safety of people on campus. By now, you’ve probably learned that safety signage plays a vital role in keeping people safe at your school. From the parking lot to the playground, having the proper school safety signs not only keeps your students and faculty safe but also helps you avoid costly lawsuits or OSHA fines.

But, as we roll into a new year, it’s time to consider when you last took an audit of your safety signage on campus. It’s important to identify where you might need new signs – and where you might need to replace existing signs on an annual basis. Why? We’re glad you asked. Here is our cheat sheet of seven reasons your safety signage may not be making the grade.

  1. Signs Are Faded: Even the best-made signs don’t last forever. If you have signage that’s been around since the class of 2002, they are probably starting to show their age. This is especially true of signs that are posted in outdoor areas. When signs begin to fade, they become hard to read. A sign that’s difficult to read is no longer effective and should be replaced. Chances are there are new signs that more closely follow current standards than your old signs as well. It’s like when the class of 2002 talks about the music of NSYNC to a kid today. It’s outdated and a little confusing.

  2. New Hazards: As you audit your campus, keep your eyes open for new hazards that may have popped up recently. Are there new machines around? Do you have new walkways, stairwells or parking lots? If it’s been a while since someone’s really looked at your safety signs, checking for new hazards is really Safety 101.

  3. Not ADA-Compliant: As a school, you don’t just make the rules; you have a few you need to follow, as well. The Americans with Disabilities Act has set standards for ADA-compliant sign design for certain types of signage, most notably signs marking building rooms, spaces or features. Not complying with this requirement can lead to hefty fines, and you’d have to bring your signs up to code anyway, so why not get ahead of it and do it right away. You don’t want that black mark on your safety report card.

  4. Signs Get Vandalized: It’s a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless. Signs in schools get vandalized. Kids will be kids. In many cases, you may not be able to clean off or fix the sign, and the vandalism makes it illegible or otherwise not suitable to do its job. That means it’s time to replace it. Remember, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to replace a sign than to deal with the consequences of a sign that didn’t work. The vandals might get detention, but you could be on the hook for a much bigger disciplinary action.

  5. Sign Fatigue is Real: Have you ever watched TV and noticed the station logo in the corner of the screen? Then, after a few minutes, you don’t even register that it’s there anymore? Your eyes notice it at first because it’s new and it stands out, but after a while, your eyes become accustomed to the screen and no longer notice that logo. The same thing happens to safety signs. If you have the same sign in the same spot for a long time, people will simply stop noticing it at all. It’s called sign fatigue, and it’s a very real problem. By changing up your signs or even just moving them to a new spot, you can make them more noticeable again. That makes them more effective.

  6. Temporary Signs Have Become Permanent: Have you ever created a makeshift sign to put up when there’s a slippery spot on the floor or a step that people keep tripping on? Of course, you probably meant to fix the situation, but now you realize it’s not likely to change, and that sign is not adequate or up to OSHA standards. Invest in a regulation, permanent sign or make a targeted effort to fix the hazard. No matter how many A’s you got in art class, you can’t make your own safety signs.

  7. Missed Branding Opportunities: Even if the bulk of your signage is in good shape and you have the right signs in the right places, you could benefit from freshening up your safety signage. By adding your school colors and a logo or relevant slogan, you can use your safety signage as an opportunity for branding. Not only is it clever marketing, but custom-made signs with your branding theme also reinforce your school’s dedication to the safety of its students and staff. Consider it extra credit.

It’s an Open-Book Test, Not a Pop Quiz!

You don’t have to go into your safety signage audit completely unprepared like it’s a macro-economics pop quiz. We’ve created a School Signage Audit Guide to help walk you through the process. It lets you know key areas where you should look, how to order new signs and even provides a signage checklist. Remember when your teacher would say it’s an open-book test, and you’d breathe a little easier? Yeah, it’s like that.

When it comes to the safety of your students and faculty, make sure your school is top of the class by updating your safety signs in 2022!

This article was provided by ComplianceSigns.